Future doctors celebrated a proud moment at McGill University on Friday: the symbolic donning of the healer's habit.

About 180 second-year medical students took part in the 15th annual ceremony where they were given white coats by the department's head.

They also recited an oath to put patients first, to offer accessible healthcare to all, and to put aside their biases.

The ceremony comes at the beginning of the second year of school for students, as they are in their final semester of classes.

Students told CTV Montreal they were delighted by the show of progress, but are somewhat nervous about assuming the weight of responsibility.

Under the new curriculum for medical students at McGill they will wrap up the majority of their classwork at the end of December, then begin seeing patients full-time in a supervised setting.

Medical school lasts four years, after which students will have to decide upon a specialty.

Becoming a family doctor requires a two-year specialization, while some surgical specialties require more than a decade of additional training.